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MATHCOUNTS Competition Series

The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national program that provides students the opportunity to compete in live, in-person contests against and alongside their peers. Created in 1983, it is the longest-running MATHCOUNTS program and is open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.

Educators who register their school for this program receive what we call a School Competition Kit, which includes the 2017-2018 MATHCOUNTS School Handbook (the primary preparation resource for the program), as well as awards for students. They also receive online access to numerous math resources. The MATHCOUNTS School Handbook, available here, includes additional information regarding student eligibility.

Register for the 2017-2018 MATHCOUNTS Competition Series here.


The Program in a Nutshell

How Does It Work?

The Competition Series has 4 levels of competition—school, chapter, state and national. Each level of competition is comprised of 4 rounds—Sprint, Target, Team and Countdown Round. Altogether the rounds are designed to take about 3 hours to complete.

  • Sprint Round: focuses on speed and accuracy. Students have 40 minutes to complete 30 math problems without a calculator.
  • Target Round: focuses on problem-solving and mathematical reasoning. Students receive 4 pairs of problems and have 6 minutes to complete each pair, assuming the use of a calculator.
  • Team Round: focuses on problem-solving and collaboration. Students have 20 minutes to complete 10 math problems, assuming the use of a calculator. Only the 4 students on a school's team can take this round officially.
  • Countdown Round: focuses on speed and accuracy. Students have a maximum of 45 seconds per problem without a calculator. This round is optional at the school, chapter and state level.


A Typical Program Year

Schools register in the fall and work with students during the year. Coaches administer the School Competition, usually in January. Any number of students from a school can participate in team meetings and compete in the School Competition. MATHCOUNTS provides the School Competition to coaches in November. Many coaches use this to determine which student(s) will advance to the Chapter Competition.

Between 1 and 10 students from each school advance to the local Chapter Competition, which takes place in February. Each school can send a team of 4 students, plus up to 6 individual competitors. All chapter competitors—whether they are team members or individuals—participate in the individual rounds of the competition; then just the 4 team members participate in the team round. Schools also can opt to send just a few individual competitors, rather than forming a full team. Over 500 Chapter Competitions take place across the country.

Top students from each Chapter Competition advance to their State Competition, which takes place in March. A school's registration fees cover its students for as far as they get in the Competition Series. If students make it to one of the 56 State Competitions, no additional fees are required.

Top 4 individual competitors from each State Competition receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Competition, which takes place in May. These 224 students combine to form 4-person state teams, which also competing individually for the title of National Champion.